I’ve been in this holiDAZE and so out of it lately! After December 23 I went on hyper-mode and had to whip up something for Christmas and New Year. One of the things about Diplo-life is holidays spent abroad away from family. Usually spending it in the Philippines automatically gives the holidays structure for us. Last last year we had Christmas Eve Noche Buena with TD’s family in Manila and then traveled on December 25 to spend Christmas Day with my family in Mindanao. Since we were left in Jakarta this year, we had to create our own celebrations with friends who didn’t end up going home either… even our non-Catholic friends celebrated with us! Thank you! There were many get-togethers and tons of food with Jakarta friends old and new! After the jump is a photoblog of what we did over the holiDAZE!
Salu-salos at TD’s office
We had several salu-salos at TD’s office. It was a chance for me to go to the wet market in Mayestic (which is now inside an air-conditioned mall!) to buy seafood. It’s pleasant and quite clean, it doesn’t even smell like fish or meat (only smoke coz the vendors still smoke inside). Check out the size of that fish head, and I love that they used really old-school weighing scales! Fresh seafood at great prices!
Practicing for the Christmas party song
Pinoys in J-Town Christmas Party
Early in December we got together with our Pinoy group in Jakarta (including our honorary Pinoy Chris!). It was a great way to catch up since we haven’t seen each other in a while. Why J-Town? It was the name Orange gave our BBM group and I learned that it’s what Indonesians call Jakarta. We were so caught up in catching up (no pun intended) that nobody took pictures until the end. Group pic!
Thanks for hosting the shindig in your beautiful home, Or and Nara! Fun times with these guys as always. Yummy pinoy food and fun games. The exchange gift game was a blast!
M’s Christmas Party
I met M at Stumble Abroad’s fab sailing away party for Joshua, and I knew I met a kindred soul! Thanks for inviting us to your lovely home. Awesome Christmas party, exchange gift and giveaways! I still cannot believed what you whipped up in the kitchen! Amazing.
M got my gifts! Yay!
I got a kiss from the cutest lil elf!
I went home with some amazing gifts as well. Philosophy Amazing Grace which smells amazing, some Famous Amos cookies from the exchange gift; some delicious smelling Bath & Body works goodies from the host! Thanks M!
Baking, baking, baking…
I did tons of baking over the holidays as well. Friends ordered banana bread, chocomallow cupcakes and banana chocolate cupcakes. I also made my signature Tiramisu cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes for gatherings! Below is my first attempt at chocolate cupcakes, for giveaways to guests at our Christmas Eve dinner! (M gave us waaaay too many candy canes for me and TD to possibly eat so this was the perfect way to use them!)
Potluck Christmas Eve Dinner
The guest book was out, the house was decorated & all lit up and the party favors ready!
Here’s what we had and who made it:
- Sangria – TD’s special recipe
- 333 Vietnamese Beer – Thuan (All the way from Vietnam)
- Pomegranate Salad – Sarah & Zak
- Fried chicken wantons – Sun & Ome
- 2 kinds of Paella – made by TD and our maid. The chorizo was all the way from Spain, sent by the MIL!
- Vegetable and chicken soup – Van & Jed
- Bihon – Van & Jed
- Cheesecake – Rada
- Kek Lapis (Indonesian layered cake) – Rama
- Tiramisu cupcakes – me
You wouldn’t believe how yummy all the dishes were! I am still salivating over the salad and the fried wontons. =P
I also gave away some handmade snowflake coasters and decor as a prize for one of the games, which Z won for Sarah.
After the guest left, I realized that I completely forgot to dress DiploDog in his Santa suit! Oh well… I’ll have to remember it for next year then. I took pictures of DiploDog and took it off because he was so sleepy and yawning already. We opened presents and went to bed.
Christmas Day Dinner at Sun & Li’s
We were also invited to casual dinner at S & L’s. It was another crazy yummy foodfest! Cheeses from Europe paired with yummy orange fig spread, microwaved queso de bola from the Philippines, crackers with Yummy blackpepper dip (this dip is so addicting and it’s locally made)….
Minette made the uber creamy mashed potatoes, while Sun made this amazing sundried tomato pesto pasta. But the star of the dinner was the homemade crispy pata (crispy pork leg) and the relleno that came all the way from Manila brought to Jakarta by Tita Menchu (it’s a family recipe passed down generations!).
It was super fun hanging with Sun & Li’s family and guests. Too bad I only took pictures at the beginning of the party…when the food was served, I totally forgot about pictures-taking and focused on the food and great company!
All in all Christmas and New Year in Jakarta wasn’t too shabby at all! There were many times when I felt pangs of loneliness and missed family and friends in the Philippines, the craziness of Manila in Christmas time and the quiet family bonding time in the province. However our Jakarta friends made the holidays lovely and memorable in our home away from home! Thank you so much to everyone who celebrated the holidays with us!
DID YOU KNOW?
(CNN) — Where would you find the most Christmas spirit in the world? It’s hard to say for certain, but if a global competition were to be held, the Philippines would have an excellent shot at winning.
The southeast Asian island nation has the world’s longest festive season — and pulls no punches in its celebratory zeal for the period, with lavish light displays, masses, and festivals held throughout the country from September until January.